I'm considering the purchase of a used EV (electric vehicle, with no backup internal combustion engine).

From what I understand, the battery condition of an EV, and therefore its maximum range between charges, can decrease faster or slower over time based on various factors. That obviously affects its utility value and price I'd be willing to pay. Yet I find it near impossible to get information on the battery condition of used EVs for sale.

I don't want to buy a lightly used car based on an expectation that its battery is in good condition, only to find out the next day that it has half the range of the same car new. How can I assess the actual condition of a vehicle's battery before purchasing it? Is that a service that I can ask of a mechanic? Is there a standard way of evaluating used battery condition?

  • Your points about assessing ev battery condition are valid and exactly why the sellers of second-hand ev's don't mention battery condition. They stick to "it is working".
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 25 '19 at 7:41
  • The computer keeps track of the battery condition. The issue is extracting that information. It is possible that a dealer level tool can pull that info but it is also possible that the manufacturer didn't expose that information at all.
    – vini_i
    Apr 25 '19 at 19:34
  • @vini_i could you post any info or reference about that as an answer?
    – qoba
    Apr 26 '19 at 1:43

The Nissan Leaf is one of the few EVs where an end user can easily get battery health using the LeafSpy program on Android and a OBD2 to Bluetooth adapter.

All other current EVs require a dealer tool for accurate cell-level readings.

This is mostly a problem when buying a used car. An unscrupulous seller can reset the car’s computer which might cause the displayed battery health or displayed range estimate to reset to defaults. It’ll take a few dozen miles of driving to get accurate readings again.

For long term owners, we can gradually see our range estimates on full battery charges deplete.

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